By Design – Issue 63, Fall 2023

36 SKETCHBOOK The fifth at Amber Hills Golf & Resort in Bắc Giang, Vietnam, a newbuild by Paul Albanese, ASGCA, and professional golfer KJ Choi, is a par five with a creek, hillside bunkers and subtle depressions on its fairway. “The irrigation lake needed to be sited in this area, so we wanted to create a strategic water feature,” said Albanese. “KJ and I looked at a couple of different ways to have water come into play and landed on this idea. “On the drive, we wanted golfers to have to play as close to ‘KJ’s creek’ as they dared, which would then enable a non-forced carry to either the second landing area or green. For approach shots, golfers again should try to play their shot as close to the water as they risk, as the green is contoured to receive shots better from that direction. The pair of hillside bunkers adds another aspect of having to think through the different options for where to lay up based on the pin placement is that day.” The hole will be built in the fall or early 2024, with just a few minor tweaks from this original sketch. “We incorporated a lot of subtle strategy into the design,” said Albanese. “For example, the contouring on the green and the grass depression in front of the green make golfers think about how much risk they want to incur, for a proportional amount of reward.” • Amber Hills, Vietnam Paul Albanese, ASGCA Photo: Paul Albanese, ASGCA